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402 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 Though in accord with now widely prevalentviews, this last interpretation prompts some pointed queries. With the entire third section (and not justourfew fragments) available up to the time ofSimplicius, were not the . ancients in the better position to see its meaning? Was not Parmenides himself earnest in his political activity, and serious in his use of words, images, and art? May the obvious consideration that he worked with zeal in a world of multiplicity and change, then, be lightlyset aside by Gallop's translocation (pp 27-8) of this possible defence into a Cartesian setting? Nor is attention drawn to the fact that nowhere in the fragments does Parmenides call the perceptibleworld an illusion, even though he dubbed its construction 'deceitful' (Fr 8.52; pp 23 and 25) or deceptive in occasioningthe doxastic judgmentthat things partake ofnot-being as well as of being, while as 'a man who knows' (Fr 1.3; p 49) he saw that each thing was being only. Further, does Gallop's mention that for a few commentators 'the Way of Seeming has some degree of validity' (p 37, n 62) provide sufficient 'awareness of what is at issue' (p x)? At issue here is whether perceptible things have full validity in so far as each has being in a much greater degree than mortals are inclined to grant, and whether the purpose ofthe middle section is to substantiatethe third by showing 'how the things which seem had to have genuine existence, permeating all things completely' (Fr 1.31-2; p 53). On the evidence at hand, may not a reviewer suggest that for Parmenides just as for ourselves the language of logic needed to be accompanied andenrichedby otherlanguages thatalso grasp reality in their own respective ways? This radical criticism notwithstanding, Gallop's book is by far the most serviceable coverage of Parmenides to date in English. It marks a significant advance in Parmenidean studies, and is indeed an auspicious inauguration for the Phoenix Pre-Socratics series. (J. OWENS) Pierre Brind'Amour. Le Calendrier romain, recherches chronologiques Editions de l'Universite d'Ottawa 1983. 384. $25.00 Before historians can deal with the events ofRoman history, we often find ourselves forced to attempt to be precise about the dates ofevents given to us by our sources. Because our original Roman historical sources used a multitude ofcalendric systems in presenting chronology, modern discussion is complicated by the necessity to convert dates given in termsof the Roman or another ancient calendar into dates on the Julian calendar of our own time. For the period of the Roman Republic, the Roman republican calendar assumes prime importance in this task, but because the republican calendar was extremely irregular, we call on the results of technical and specialized studies to try to understand its structure, an HUMANITIES 40 3 effort which has been carried on extensively over the past century without producing a theory acceptable to all scholars. The calendar of the Republic had first ten months, later twelve, to which was added from time to time an additional month, called intercalary , which was to maintain some synchronism between the calendric year and the solar year of the seasons. The system was, however, very irregular, and in consequence it is often impossible to tell if a specific year was intercalary, so that we often cannot establish the months in our calendar to which Roman months correspond. In any case, it is only the most detailed research and the assembly of chronological data which permit, for some years or some important events, the precision of date which we commonlyfind in modern historical sources. The situation does Improve, however, after the end ofthe Republic, once the reform ofJulius Caesar changed the whole calendar. With the institution of the 365i-day calendar, the Romans had a systematic calendar, and, after an initial administrative error, the correction of Augustus finally fixed it fIrmly for the rest of Roman times. The modern study ofthe Roman calendaruses evidence both ofRoman writers and modem astronomy in order to make precise certain events of important chronological significance - for example, notices of eclipses, reports of lunar positions, seasonal indications. These studies are, in general, more...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 402-403
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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